This paper describes a new type of orbits homoclinic to resonance bands in a class of near-integrable Hamiltonian systems. It presents a constructive method for establishing whether small conservative perturbations of a family of heteroclinic orbits that connect pairs of points on a circle of equilibria will yield transverse homoclinic connections between periodic orbits in the resonance band resulting from the perturbation. In any given example, this method may be used to prove the existence of such transverse homoclinic orbits, as well as to determine their precise shape, their asymptotic behavior, and their possible bifurcations. The method is a combination of the Melnikov method and geometric singular perturbation theory for ordinary differential equations.

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This work was partly supported by the U.S. Department of Energy through grant DE-FG02-93ER25154.

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